MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) A state court jury on Tuesday found two major pharmaceutical companies defrauded Alabama in a long-running Medicaid drug pricing scheme and ordered the firms to pay more than $114 million in damages.
The jury found that GlaxoSmithKline should pay the state $80.8 million in compensatory damages and that Novartis should pay about $33.7 million in similar damages. But it declined to order any punitive damages.
An attorney representing the state, Jere Beasley of Montgomery, said the verdict should help Alabama and other states settle similar lawsuits with drug companies.
Overall, the state had asked for as much as $800 million in total damages in what its attorneys claimed was a scheme to overcharge for Medicaid prescription drugs from 1991 to 2005.
The jury awarded the amount of compensatory damages Beasley had asked for in closing arguments.
"I think the jury looked at the evidence and decided the fraud was substantial but that the compensatory damages plus interest was enough," Beasley said.
The state claimed the two companies charged the Medicaid program one price for drugs while offering discounts and special prices to other companies.